Houses ‘would change nature of village’By Jon Nurse
June 08, 2012
Plans to change a village eyesore to 126 houses have been refused on grounds that the scheme is too intensive for the area.
The University of Reading had made an outline application for land at the Manor by Church Lane in Shinfield to be used for houses, plus sports pitches and allotments.
Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee rejected the plans last week at a meeting at the civic offices in Shute End amid concerns the volume of homes proposed was too dense for the site.
Committee vice chairman Cllr Chris Bowring said: “I’m concerned with the figure. It seems inequitable to me that they should have 26 more houses than the rules say.
“There are other modest development locations in the borough. Shinfield is a modest development location because it is a village, and allowing this would be changing the nature of the village.”
Mark Cupit, head of development management at the council, said: “Twenty-eight developments per hectare is actually on the lowish side.
“I think there is plenty of space in this plan, with allotments and sports pitches to come at a later stage.
“It’s eminently logical for it to be used in this way – whether it’s 100 or 126 is entirely academic given the history behind it.”
Committee member Cllr Tim Holton said: “If ever a brownfield site needed developing this is it, but I feel 126 houses is too much for the site.
“It needs more than the one access point proposed and it’s too far from a bus stop.”
The application has been in motion since January 2011 and the outline layout was presented to the committee last week following a resolution that the site would contain 40 per cent affordable housing.
Local resident Richard Davy-Smith said: “This site is a dangerous mess. I know people don’t like to walk through even during the day.
“It would be a disaster to build everywhere else and then not here.”
The plans were refused in the vote by a majority of five to four.